Memorial Hospital is one of only 270 hospitals nationally receive HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Award™.  This distinction is based on an independent study released today by HealthGrades, the leading healthcare ratings company.

The study of quality at the nation’s nearly 5,000 nonfederal hospitals places Memorial Hospital in the top five percent for overall clinical quality.  According to the HealthGrades study, Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence had mortality rates that were, on average, 27 percent lower than other hospitals, and major complication rates that were eight percent lower.

For seven years now, HealthGrades has conducted the most comprehensive studies of hospital quality in America, producing ratings for every non-federal hospital. Hospitals that receive the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence are those hospitals that excel across the 26 procedures and diagnoses rated.

James B. Wood, CEO, Memorial Hospital, says the hard work and dedication of Memorial’s associates, physicians and volunteers, have made the recognition possible.

“We have worked diligently for several years to become a Top Hospital. I am pleased to see it happen in 2009, the year we have already accomplished so much with the opening of our new Heart Center and the anticipated opening of the new Patient Tower,” Wood says.  “Additionally, we recently became the first in northeast Florida to have an accredited Chest Pain Center in our Emergency Department and stroke certified for the second consecutive year. Thanks to our physicians and staff, these accomplishments were possible.”

The study also shows that Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence are improving at a greater rate in more procedures and diagnoses than all other hospitals, lowering risk-adjusted mortality rates over the years 2005, 2006, 2007 by an average of 18%. 

“Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence comprise an unparalleled group of hospitals that excel across the board, not just in one or two specialties, and they should be commended for their relentless commitment to exceptional patient care. Patients should expect and demand the same level of care at all hospitals,” said Rick May, MD, HealthGrades senior physician consultant, and an author of the study.

For its study, HealthGrades analyzed almost 41 million Medicare hospitalization records that cover the latest three-year period, from 2005 to 2007.  Because the hospitalization records come from the federal government, no hospital can opt in or out of HealthGrades' rating process. The analysis is risk-adjusted to account for differences in patient populations between hospitals.

HealthGrades found that Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence outperformed all other hospitals across the procedures and diagnoses studied. HealthGrades estimates that 152,666 lives could have been saved and 11,772 complications could have been avoided over the three years studied if all Medicare patients were treated at Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence.

Memorial Hospital - Jacksonville also received the Bariatric Surgery, Stroke and Pulmonary Excellence Awards™ and received five-star ratings for Treatment of Heart Failure, Carotid Surgery and Gastrointestinal Surgeries and Procedures in HealthGrades’ 2009 service line specific ratings.

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